Ethical Considerations in Psychological Research

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When do ethics become involved in psychology?
When psychologists treat patients and participants.
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What is the right was to treat a patient or participant?
There is no right or wrong answer because there are conflicting points of view.
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How are professional organisations involved in ethics?
They provide guidance about how to behave, which is always being updated to keep up with changing viewpoints and moral dilemmas.
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What is the definition of 'socially sensitive research' and who defined it?
Sieber and Stanley defined it as 'studies in which there are potential social consequences or implications, either directly for the participants or the class of individuals represented.
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What is one of the most controversial avenues of research, what has it found, and what impact does it have?
Inter-racial differences in IQ. Some evidence suggests that black children may be inferior. Even though such research may be flawed, it can be used to support divisive and discriminatory policies.
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What is the main ethical issue regrarding socially sensitive research, and what makes it an issue?
Whether such research should be conducted. If it isn't, groups may miss out on benefits, and ignoring these areas of research would amount to an abdication of the 'social responsibilities' of the researcher.
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What 2 things should be focused on when understanding the nature of socially-sensitive research?
The implications of their findings and the potential to offer 'scientific credibility to the prevailing prejudice'.
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Briefly outline 2 important ethical issues.
Participants should know about all aspects of research before agreeing to take part, which is a right stemming from experiements conducted in concentraion camps, but full information may compromise integrity. Another issue is harm, and what is too mu
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What are the 4 sections of the code of conduct, and what does it offer to psychologists?
Respect for the dignity and worth of all, competence, responsibility and integrity. It offers ethical guidelines.
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When are observations without informed consent acceptable?
In situations where the people would expect to be observed by strangers.
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When is intentional deception acceptable, and how can this be judged?
When it's necessary to protect the integrity of research and when deception is disclosed to participants at the earliest opportunity. One way to judge it is to consider where participants are likely to object or show unease, then it's unacceptable.
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Apart from no deception, how else can you respect participants?
By making them aware of their right to withdraw.
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How can psychologists achieve competence?
By maintaining high standards in their work.
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Who do psychologisht have a responsibility to?
Their clients, the public and Psychology.
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How can psychologists show integrity?
By being honest and accurate.
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Who do psychologists use to deal with ethical issues, and what do they do?
They use ethical committees to assess research propsals, by punishing psychologists who contravene the code with disbarment from the society, and by educating students and psychologists about their duties as researchers.
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Give 3 reasons why we would study animals in psychological research?
They're fascinating, and such research may benefit them, we may use them when we can't use humans, and they offer the opportunity for control and objectivity, which is why they were used in the behaviourist theory.
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Do animals have senitence and does this mean they should be used in psychological research?
In terms of pain there's evidence that they respond to pain but this may not be the same as conscious awareness, however there's evidence that animals have self-awareness. Some humans lack sentience but wouldn't be used in research without consent.
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Is speciesism a valid reason to stop the use of animals in research?
Peter Singer argued that discrimination on the basis of species is no different from racial or gender discrimination, however Gray argues that we have a duty of care to humans.
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Give a view that is for and a view that is against animal research.
Singer's view is utilitarian, so if animal research can alleviate pain and suffering it's justifiable. Tom Regan argues that there are no circumstances under which aminal research is acceptable, and animals have a right to be treated with respect.
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How can 'animal rights' be challenged?
By examining the concept of rights - having rights is dependent on having responsibilities in society, therefore as animals don't have responsibilities they have no rights.
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What 2 organisations or acts deal with animal rights and what do they do?
The BPS publishes guidelines for research with animals. In the UK the Animals Act requires that animal research only takes place at licensed labs with licensed researchers on licensed projects.
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Under what circumstances are animal research licenses given out?
If potential results are important enough to justify the use of animals, the research can't be done using non-animals, the minimum number of animals will be used, and discomfort or suffering is kept to a minimum by use of anesthetics or painkillers.
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Who proposed the 3 Rs, what are they, and why are the House of Lords interested in them?
They were proposed by Russell and Birch - reduction, replacement and refinement. The House of Lords endorsed this principle with respect to animal research, nevertheless the need for animal research continues.
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Card 2

Front

What is the right was to treat a patient or participant?

Back

There is no right or wrong answer because there are conflicting points of view.

Card 3

Front

How are professional organisations involved in ethics?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is the definition of 'socially sensitive research' and who defined it?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is one of the most controversial avenues of research, what has it found, and what impact does it have?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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